When my blog was revamped, one of my goals was to write toward health a bit. It’s been a while! I’m not into six pack abs or huge biceps necessarily (though I certainly do not begrudge them). But I’m very into being healthy, fit, and feeling spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically well. If you read the “About” section of my blog (HERE) you’ll understand why. In addition, I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar II in 2004 (you can read my blog series on it HERE). Since 2009, I’ve been determined to control and/or conquer that diagnosis more naturally than chemically.
Recently, I came across a little device that tapped into the competitor in me that has been a game-changer: The Pedometer. My dear friend, and assistant, Denise Wiggins, had an extra one and gave it to me. She set it to my height, weight, step-length, and the like, and I have been using it now for about four weeks.
According to the studies, 10,000 steps = “active.” 12, 500 steps = “highly active.” Below 5,000 = “sedentary.”
The first day I tested myself just to see what I might average without doing anything special. I logged a whopping 750ish steps. But that was a study day where I’m glued to the chair. The next day was a more typical day in the office. Still I logged only 1500ish steps. Unacceptable. So game on!
In the last four weeks my goal has been to get 12,500 steps per day at least six days a week. That’s the competitor in me. However, if I nailed 10,000 steps and was just too fatigued or too busy to go further, I’d settle for the 10,000. Either way, my goal now is to land 12,500 steps three days per week, and no less than 10,000 steps six days a week.
Know this. It is tough to get 10,000 steps per day! I workout every morning and jog or skip in place and around the garage between sets of lifting weights. I can usually log 3,000 to 5,000 steps in that hour. But it typically takes me until near bed time to hit my 10,000-12,500 step goal. During the day, I get up from my desk about every hour to hour-and-a-half and move my whole body (running in place, skipping, arms going up and down, side to side, and so forth) to get my steps and my heart rate up. This goes on all day. But again, it has been worth it, and even refreshing.
Before the pedometer, I considered myself fairly active due to working out in the mornings—jumping rope, plyometrics, kettlebell-swinging, weightlifting, and the like. But I would sit the rest of the day almost all day. I learned from research that I was negating the positives of exercise due to my sitting at a desk all day. The pedometer has changed that in the last four weeks. I have noticed an amazing difference in my energy, my joints, and even my sleep. In fact, even as a mostly fit person, I lost a belt-size (in the first two weeks even)! Crazy. In addition, the 10,000-12,500 steps (with full body movement) has been so effective that I no longer do cardio work. I just lift weights. Once a week, however, I will play with the kids in a way that makes me sprint and run, but that’s about it.
I highly recommend the pedometer. The key is to MOVE your body throughout the day, your whole body, and not just casually pace a room (though that is better than nothing). It gets your heartrate going too. Get outside, walk, and stretch and move your arms all around (not just a runner’s motion). Have meetings while you walk. Don’t have enough space and/or don’t want anyone watching you? Get in a stairwell and skip or run in place while moving your arms up and down, sideways, and so forth. Use an empty bathroom or bathroom stall (yes, I’m serious), or an empty office or conference room, and get moving and pedometer-ing there!
Be sure you get a higher quality pedometer because many of them are pure junk and misread your steps. Also, you MUST set the pedometer up according to the directions! My pedometer is accurate within about 10 – 12 steps. There is no brand name on my pedometer or I would recommend it to you. A site that claims to list the top ten best pedometers can be found HERE. If you have a Consumer Reports subscription, you can check out their recommendations HERE.
To make the pedometer challenge more fun, compete with a friend about who can log the most steps per day or week (I have this friendly competition every now and then with Denise, but also with my kids).
Looking out for you!
Do you or have you ever used a pedometer? How was your experience? How did you use it? Any pedometer brand you recommend?